— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 30, 2017
In the midst of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and its subsequent flooding in places like Houston and Beaumont, Texas, nature is taking no time off. A new tropical storm is bearing down on the Caribbean and potentially the eastern United States, and it could turn into a hurricane as early as Friday if it strengthens as expected.
NOAA and its National Hurricane Center are keeping an eye on the storm (as seen in the above video), which is still pretty far out in the Atlantic Ocean. However, they are not certain in which direction the storm will eventually break. If it goes north, it’ll likely stay out at sea and away from land; if it goes south, it will have a clear path to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, or even the United States.
Irma is the ninth named storm of the season. Historically, the ninth storm of the season has, on average, formed on September 30, putting Irma one month ahead of schedule. However, NOAA notes, the accumulated cyclone energy of the season is below average, which means hurricane season hasn’t hit its peak yet in 2017.
Case in point — yet another Gulf of Mexico system is troubling NOAA, and they believe it could form and follow a similar path as Harvey, according to the Washington Post:
Just days after Harvey moves out, another tropical disturbance or tropical cyclone could move in. It does not yet exist, but models have consistently been hinting at a disturbance developing in the Bay of Campeche and tracking toward Texas by Wednesday.
If the models are accurate and the storm emerges, a huge area of southeast Texas and southern Louisiana could receive another 10 or 15 inches of rain.